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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Honoring the Dishonorable


1 Samuel 24:8-15

Verse 9 He said to Saul, “Why do you listen when men say, ‘David is bent on harming you’?


After the rebuke David gave his men regarding the devotion they should be showing the king because he was God’s anointed, Saul got up and left the cave. David knew that he couldn’t just allow the king to walk away without addressing him. We saw yesterday how David was convicted about his action against the king and how he was acting in pride, but that isn’t the motive he has in our story today.


His going out to talk to the king and show him the bit of cloth is not done from his earlier pride but rather from a heart of humility. It was no longer about seeing how close he could get to the king and not hurt him to prove himself a great man, but a way of saying the king was safe because David saw the king as someone to be honored because of his anointing from God. We see from this interaction the heart of the future king towards to the current king and it is a sign of David’s heart being after God’s heart.


When Saul looks back at the man who is calling out to him, David drops to a posture position. He lay face to the ground to show the king he respected the man and the title. This is not a sign of hero worship, David wasn’t really worshiping the man but showing him the respect due his position so that he could glorify the Lord. This image of David must have been a shock to King Saul. We can imagine him looking down at this robe to see if indeed there was a piece missing and trying to figure out if David’s bowing to him was a trick, a way that he was motioning for his men to attack.


Notice that David addresses the king as father. This form of familiarity was another way that David was showing that he held the king as the authority figure that he was, but it also would remind the king of all the times that the younger man had enjoyed family time with the king and his family. It further spoke of the fact that David was the son-in-law of Saul. David loved the king and would continue to do so but this love came with questions about why it wasn’t being reciprocated.


But even in his humility David is wise enough to know that though he has this regard for the king, the Lord has the final say on who is right between the two men. David had repented of his prideful response to cutting the robe of the king and was again remembering the importance of giving honor where honor was due. This is sometimes a hard thing to remember when we don’t agree with leadership in our lives, but it is what God has called us to do.


Making It Personal

Is there someone in a leadership position that you struggle to honor? In what ways can you honor a leader you disagree with? How could honoring a disagreeable leader bring glory to God?


Making It Personal Kids

Do you find it hard to like some people in authority? What does it mean to honor someone? How can you honor people who are in authority in your life?


Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for the reminder that by honoring those in charge, even when we disagree with them, we can honor You. Help us remember that as long as they aren’t telling us to disobey You, we are to obey them. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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